All 50+ John Grisham Books in Order | The Ultimate Guide

John Grisham’s latest book returns to the setting and characters from one of his earliest books: The Firm. This was the book that really put Grisham on the map as one of the best legal thriller authors in publishing. His subsequent books continued to establish that legacy, which is apparent by looking at all the John Grisham books in order.

The best way to read the John Grisham books in order is by grouping his legal stories and non-legal stories together. There are 48 John Grisham novels, and he has also published several novellas and a novella collection too.

You may want to read his debut novel first, the book which brought him to fame, or one of the books that has been turned into a popular and successful movie. Regardless of where you begin, from his debut novel, A Time to Kill, to his latest book, Grisham’s writing is captivating and compelling.

Who is John Grisham?

John Grisham is an American novelist who is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies on a first printing alongside J.K Rowling and Tom Clancy.

Before becoming an author, he was a master of his own legal thrillers by working as a criminal defense attorney. This gave him an intimate understanding of the courts which shines through in his writing.

He wrote his first book, A Time to Kill, following inspiration from an actual court case. His second novel, The Firm, got him into the spotlight and made him consider a career as an author. The realistic portrayal of court proceedings alongside the riveting cases contributed to his success.

Today, John Grisham has sold more than 300 million books worldwide that have been translated into 42 languages.

How to Read John Grisham’s Books in Order

John Grisham’s books can be categorized into two groups: Legal stories and non-legal stories. 

The legal stories are the first books we’ve listed below, because they have always drawn more attention from fans than the others. If you are a new reader of John Grisham’s books, we propose you read his books in the orders presented below.

Recent & Upcoming John Grisham Releases:

The Exchange: After The Firm (October 17, 2023)
Camino Ghosts (May 28, 2024)

John Grisham Books in Order

John Grisham Legal Books in Order

The Firm Books

While The Firm is the second book that Grisham ever published, this is the book which solidified his name as one of the best legal thriller authors around. For many years the story of Mitch McDeere was a standalone, but in March 2023 came the announcement of a long-awaited sequel.

The Exchange: After The Firm takes place 15 years after the conclusion of The Firm. It promises to follow up with just as many deadly secrets and corporate intrigue with a character that readers around the world fell in love with. The sequel also takes place upon a global stage.

  1. The Firm (1991)
  2. The Exchange: After The Firm (2023)

Standalone Books

However, many more of John Grisham’s books began, and have remained, as standalones. All of these books feature Grisham’s compelling characters and high-stakes suspense, which makes any of them a great John Grisham book to read first.

  1. The Pelican Brief (1992)
  2. The Client (1993)
  3. The Chamber (1994)
  4. The Rainmaker (1995)
  5. The Runaway Jury (1996)
  6. The Partner (1997)
  7. The Street Lawyer (1998)
  8. The Testament (1999)
  9. The Brethren (2000)
  10. The Summons (2002)
  11. The King of Torts (2003)
  12. The Last Juror (2004)
  13. The Broker (2005)
  14. The Innocent Man (2006)
  15. The Appeal (2008)
  16. The Associate (2009)
  17. Ford County (2009)
  18. The Confession (2010)
  19. The Litigators (2011)
  20. The Racketeer (2012)
  21. Gray Mountain (2014)
  22. The Rooster Bar (2018)
  23. The Reckoning (2019)
  24. The Guardians (2019)
  25. Sooley (2021)
  26. The Boys From Biloxi (2022)

Rogue Lawyer Books

Next in our list of the John Grisham books in order is another short series with one full-length novel and one prequel short story. Rogue Lawyer introduces Sebastian Rudd who defends those that others won’t go near, and he’s willing to bend the law to give his clients a fair trial.

Sebastian’s office is a bulletproof van and his only employee is his heavily-armed driver. Then the prequel short story dives into how Sebastian found his trusted driver. While this story is first chronologically, it does spoil some of the mystery and intrigue from Rogue Lawyer, so these titles are best read in order of publication.

  1. Rogue Lawyer (2015)
  2. Partners (2016) (Short Story Prequel)

Whistler Books

Unlike the previous series in which the prequel short story was written as a follow-up, for the Whistler books the short story prequel was published in anticipation of the first book as promotion. Witness to a Trial introduces the moving parts and pieces of the series with a very brief story.

Then The Whistler dives right in to the story of a corrupt judge and the lawyer, Lacy Stoltz, who receives the complaint regarding the judicial misconduct. The sequel, The Judge’s List, takes place three years later and follows Lacy once again as she finds herself neck deep in danger in her attempt to bring a judge to justice.

  1. Witness to a Trial (2016) (Short Story Prequel)
  2. The Whistler (2016)
  3. The Judge’s List (2021)

Theodore Boone Books

This John Grisham book series is about Theodore Boone, a 13-year-old who lives in Strattenburg, Pennsylvania. These are young adult books, which tailor Grisham’s legal themes and twists for a younger audience. Theo has spent much of his childhood growing up around the courtroom and knows that he has what it takes to become the best lawyer in the state.

Theo knows every judge, court clerk, police officer and a lot about the law, and he happily dispenses legal advice to his friends leading to new adventures in pursuit of justice. These John Grisham books should also be read in order of publication.

  1. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010)
  2. Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011)
  3. Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012)
  4. Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013)
  5. Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015)
  6. Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016)
  7. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (2019)

John Grisham Books in Order – Jake Brigance

The series includes John Grisham’s debut novel, which introduced Jake Brigance for the very first time. He is an attorney in Canton, Mississippi, a small town which is horrified by the rape of a ten-year-old girl, but even more horrified when her Black father takes matters into his own hands against her rapists. Jake must now save his client’s life amidst a mire of racial violence and uncertain justice.

The following books in the series continue to track Jake throughout his career, so it is best to read them in order of publication.

  1. A Time to Kill (1989)
  2. Sycamore Row (2013)
  3. A Time For Mercy (2020)
  4. Sparring Partners (2022) (Novella Collection)

John Grisham Non-Legal Books in Order

While his legal thrillers are what John Grisham is most well-known for, as we’ve already mentioned, he has also written non-legal stories.

Standalone Books

Similar to his legal thrillers, the majority of John Grisham’s non-legal stories are also standalones. This is great for new readers because it means you can easily pick up whichever book strikes your fancy without worrying about spoilers. These books are character driven and three pertain to sports.

  1. A Painted House (2001)
  2. Skipping Christmas (2001)
  3. Bleachers (2003)
  4. Playing for Pizza (2007)
  5. Calico Joe (2012)
  6. The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller (2016) (Novella)

Camino Island Books

The Camino Island books are not legal thrillers, but Grisham has injected mystery into each book with a whodunnit. The first book introduces Bruce Cable, the proprietor of a bookshop in Santa Rosa on Camino Island, Florida. Bruce’s real money, however, comes from selling rare books and occasionally dabbling in the black market with its lucrative stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann, a young novelist, has been recruited to infiltrate Bruce’s circle of friends in order to learn his secrets. But then she learns too much, and trouble is biting at her heels.

These John Grisham books should definitely be read in order of publication.

  1. Camino Island (2017)
  2. Camino Winds (2020)
  3. Camino Ghosts (Expected: May 28, 2024)

John Grisham Book-to-Screen Adaptations

There are many adaptations of John Grisham’s books. In fact, it was the success of The Firm adaptation in 1993, starring Tom Cruise and Jeanne Tripplehorn, which gave Grisham the financial security to walk away from his day job as a lawyer and pursue writing full-time.

That same year The Pelican Brief was adapted with another star-studded cast. Julia Roberts plays the main character alongside Denzel Washington.

The following year in 1994 saw the adaptation of one more John Grisham novel: The Client. Once again it was another star-studded cast with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Brad Renfro was cast as the young main character, Mark Sway, because Grisham had final casting approval and insisted the actor hail from near Memphis.

Two years later in 1996 saw the adaptation of two more Grisham novels: The Chamber and A Time to Kill. First came A Time to Kill, based on Grisham’s debut, starring Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Judd, and many more. Then the second Grisham movie that year was The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, and more.

It would be a few more years before the next John Grisham adaptation, but in 2003 Runaway Jury premiered. Like the ones before it, this adaptation had another star-studded cast including John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and more.

Finally, nearly all of Grisham’s adaptations are ones of his legal thrillers, but there is one notable exception which has become an annual tradition for many. The 2004 Christmas with the Kranks movie starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis is an adaptation of Grisham’s novel, Skipping Christmas.

A Summary of John Grisham Books in Order

If you’re still uncertain where you should begin your John Grisham reading journey, or trying to remember which books of his you’ve already read, these summaries will be helpful. Below you will find the summaries to the first ten standalone John Grisham books. All of these are his legal thrillers and will have you racing to the last page.

The Pelican Brief John Grisham Books in Order

1. The Pelican Brief

One night two Supreme Court justices are assassinated, and a young law student in New Orleans prepares a legal brief.

It was a shot in the dark for Darby Shaw, merely a guess, but suddenly she is witness to a murder that was meant for her. Now she must go underground to save her life and she finds that there is only one person, an ambitious reporter, that she can trust to help her understand what is going on.

That’s because someone is engineering a deadly cover-up. Someone who has read Darby’s legal brief and will do anything to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.

The Client John Grisham

2. The Client

Mark Sway was sharing a forbidden smoke with his younger brother when a shiny Lincoln pulled up to the curb and the eleven-year-old learned a dangerous secret. That’s because the unexpected visitor, a suicidal lawyer, means Mark now knows the whereabouts of the most sought-after dead body in America.

Now the young boy is in the middle of a dangerous fight between the legal system and a desperate mob killer. Reggie Love is the only one in his corner, a young lawyer who will do anything to protect her client, including make a gamble that could bring his freedom, or cost them their lives.

The Chamber Book Cover

3. The Chamber

Adam Hall is on the brink of a brilliant career in law when he risks it all for a killer on death row. Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman now facing the death penalty in Mississippi for a fatal bombing in 1967. His only hope is the twenty-six-year-old liberal lawyer from Chicago, because Adam happens to be his grandson.

The bond between the two men is rife with shame, family lies, and secrets. Adam has only days to try and save his client from the gas chamber, but there is one secret that could save Sam’s life or cost Adam his own.

The Rainmaker John Grisham

4. The Rainmaker

Rudy Baylor does not have much. He doesn’t have a job and his creditors are calling. But he does have a client if Rudy can find a way to file the lawsuit against the insurance company for a devastated family.

The case quickly explodes into something much bigger than Rudy ever anticipated though. When he arrives in court, there is a heavyweight corporate defense team to meet him and they plunge him into a nightmare of lies and legal maneuverings. It has become a fight that could cost Rudy his life, or make him the biggest rainmaker in the land.

The Runaway Jury John Grisham Books in Order

5. The Runaway Jury

The twelve members of the jury at the center of an enormous lawsuit against a giant tobacco company have been investigated and harassed by lawyers and consultants intent on a verdict. The civil trial is sure to be the most explosive of the century with everyone waiting to hear their decision. But the jury has a leader, and he will be the one who decides the verdict.

While he is known only as Juror #2 within the trial, his life and his past has led him to this moment. A woman on the outside helped him plot and plan, but now as a corporate empire waits for a decision, the truth about Juror #2 will explode like wildfire.

Final Thoughts on John Grisham books in order

Are you a huge fan of John Grisham’s books? Have you just begun reading these books and don’t know where to start? You now have many options to read through the John Grisham books in order from the first to the last. 

Which order is best for you? Let us know!

More Legal Thriller Resources

33 thoughts on “All 50+ John Grisham Books in Order | The Ultimate Guide

  1. Just started your books. Love them!
    Question? What became of Jakes Smallwwood case? How much did he make? Did Drew get another trial after the hung jury?

    1. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to help you there. I’m not John Grisham or anyone associated with him. I did try to do some research on the topic for you, but could not find any additional information as to what happens to Drew after the trial “concludes” in the book.

      I think the author intends for us to fill in the blanks. The TV show, Bull, does this a lot, too. The primary crisis is averted, and we are to assume that there is another trial, but with the primary penalty or biggest danger past, we can assume that anything else that happens is more desirable by characters involved and thus a “happy ending” if you will.

    2. I’m trying to remember the name of his book that was about the nursing home that was giving drugs to the patients to keep them alive so they could continue to make money. The main character worked in the home. Do you know the name of this book by JG? Thank you!

  2. I started reading Alex Cross series in order on Jan 1st, 2022.
    John Grisham is next. My sister is sending the series to me.

    1. You will enjoy them all. I have read until I am begging for more books. Waiting for new release. Grisham is the best of legalese.

  3. Love John’s story. I pretty much has everyone. It is a good gift list for family to me 🙂

  4. Hi,
    Hope you and family are fine.
    Thanks for the list. I am big fan as the first book I read in 90’s was The Firm. Got me hooked on Grisham wagon 😁.

    Many I have not read so thanks once again.

    Take care and be safe.

  5. Love his books and was happy to see he started doing mini series as his writing leaves me wondering what happened to the lawyer in every book. Catherine Coulter also has 2 seties, one involving the US FBI husbsnd and wife team, and another about a Brit in the FBI. They are as addicting as James Pattersons Alex Cross.

  6. Great fan of Grisham. Read 37 out of his 40 books. Love the way he writes. Never know how the story ends. Love also Patterson’s books with Alex Cross, great thrillers. Keeps you reading all night long.

  7. So easy to read. I have read all of them and have pre-ordered Oct. 2022 book already. Any writing by him has to be good.

    1. I also love Grisham novels, gets me hooked first paragraph. However I’m near the end of Sparing Partners and realized it’s three different cases. Should have read the info about the book before I bought it. Stories leave you wondering.

  8. I have read all of John’s books, in the order described by this web site…when will we see more of his great stories?

    1. As of this writing, the next book to come out is The Boys from Biloxi, slated to release in October 2022.

  9. I loved reading from a very tender age. Read every Mills & boon there was then went to Daniel steel.then every thing else. I stopped reading because I came to a point where every book was like the same to me. Until 1997 when I got hold of A TIME TO KILL..This was the best book I had read. L.S.S. Today am just waiting for his next book.
    Thanks John Grisham for renewing my love for reading.

  10. I only started John Grishm books because my mother asked me to read the first 3 pages because she knew I would have to find out the end Jihn Grisham’s book The Testament. Mom was right, I could not even think about any else until finished that book. Not sure if it has been made into a movie yet but think it is one of his best works.

  11. Hello, I just read my first John Grisham book, The Guardians! Very good! Loved the story and the style! Now I need to read the next one? Which one would you suggest next? Thank you!

  12. like everybody else on the replies i was hooked when i read a time to kill. the most recent was time of mercy

  13. I’m obsessed with the Clanton stories. I would love it if there’d be a Telly series with that setting. I’ve read all of his legal novels. Brilliant, just brilliant.

  14. I love reading John Grisham’s books and have read almost all of them and am looking forward to the next ones, I hope they will be soon as I am fast marching on to celebrate my 93rd birthday.Billie Jo Odom

  15. I was reading Grisham when I was younger, going to college. I stopped when working. I am starting again from the beginning today because I have a lot of time on my hand due to a disability. I am sure I will have plenty of time to start at the beginning and make to the end. He is awesome and my favorite.

  16. I thought I had read all of his books except the most current few; however, in checking my list, I have missed just a few. I love reading his books. They are ones you do not want to lay down.

  17. 2023 New Year’s resolution was to read all John Grisham books. Had read five prior to 2023. Only five more to read. I have counted 52 books. Hope I haven’t missed any. (Not counting Theodore books).

  18. I have read them all and was somewhat disappointed with the latest The Exchange – predictable and spent way too much time on Mitch & Abby’s story from The Firm one of his best and close to the best he wrote.

  19. I read a John Grisham book about his own miserable basketball career and I cannot find it listed or recall the name. Was it The Losing Season or….? It’s not Sooley.

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